Beacon Art Shortwave Gallery in Stone Harbor isn’t your typical “seashore art gallery.”
“We are compelling, contemporary art,” says Gary Jacketti, owner of Beacon Art. “We do not do giclees; no prints or reproductions. Everything is original.”
The gallery name stems from the small hamlet of Beacon, N.Y., where Jacketti and his wife Nancy, who met while working at The Windrift in Avalon in 1985, spend their time during the winter months seeking out new artists.
The town of Beacon, which is about 90 minutes north of New York City, is virtually littered with hip contemporary art galleries, as well as home to Dia:Beacon, a major contemporary art museum with collections that encompass the 1960s to present. Built in 2003, the museum has been instrumental in converting the city into an incredibly vibrant arts destination, attracting not only tourists, but artists from around the world who have been steadily moving there.
“Beacon has a dynamic arts scene,” says Jacketti, a sculptor and painter himself whose works have been displayed throughout the United States, as well as in Japan and Germany. “And we’re bringing that to Cape May County.”
The collections found at Beacon Art include works by contemporary artists from New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Ohio to as far as countries abroad.
The gallery also houses Avalon Bronze Studio, which is where Jacketti works on various projects and commissions during normal gallery hours. Presently he is working on a piece that was commissioned by the United States Military Academy at West Point. The life-sized statuary, titled “Goodbye,” is a tribute to the children of military men and women.
“These children are brave and sacrifice a lot,” Jacketti says. “‘Goodbye’ to them could mean ‘See you after school’ or perhaps even never again.”
The piece will be finished Labor Day weekend when it will head to the foundry for casting. It will then be unveiled on Veterans Day at West Point, where it will become a permanent installation.
When Jacketti isn’t working on his own pieces, he’s often showcasing the works of his numerous gallery artists, such as painter Peter Bynum — whose illuminated paintings will flood the windows of the New York Public Library this August in what is expected to be the most-viewed painting exhibition in the world — or mixed-media artist Carla Goldberg, by hosting shows and receptions. The next one will take place 7 p.m. Friday, July 25, and will highlight New York artist, Richard Bruce.
Bruce, whose palette has been compared to that of Mark Rothko, will have his contemporary abstract seascapes on display. Jacketti describes these acrylics on panel, which range in size from 24” x 24” to 4’ x 4’, as “dreamlike” and “ethereal.”
“These are not traditional seashore images of breaking waves or squawking gulls or blue herons,” Jacketti say. “They are anything but 19th century landscapes in a gold frame.”
Aside from artist shows practically each week, Beacon hosts a weekly “brunch” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, where they serve mimosas along with light snacks from a variety of vendors at the nearby Stone Harbor farmers’ market.
“We like to support our farmers’ market while engaging our guests in conversation at the same time,” Jacketti says.
Located at 9412 Second Ave. in Stone Harbor, Beacon Art is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the season; on weekends in April and May; and September through Columbus Day.
Jacketti says that he is trying to present a fresh look for Cape May County residents and tourists. As he likes to say, “Come see the difference.”
For more information, call 609-796-5425 or go to BeaconArt.net.